Re: Collecting Receivables

Subject: Re: Collecting Receivables
From: TRACY BOYINGTON <trlyboyi -at- GENESIS -dot- ODVTE -dot- STATE -dot- OK -dot- US>
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 13:23:42 +0000

> The writer is requested to meet with the client at which time the client
> requests a discount (1/3) since the project is hugely over cost of an average
> technical document of similar size.
> The client has indicated that there is no problem paying the original bill,
> but would prefer a fairer price tag on the total project.

I don't have the original message here, but if I remember correctly a
lot of the unexpected cost was caused by problems on the client's
end. If so,...

(1) What about giving the client a list of the extra expenses broken
down into those that were caused by the client and those that might
reasonably be absorbed by the writer, and giving a discount on the
writer's extra expenses only. The only example I can think of for
these would be the cost of computer rental...if you knew they wanted
it on Macs when you first signed up for the project, you knew you'd
be renting one and might have considered some inevitable delays. On
the other hand, if they changed their minds midstream, the computer
rental should be "above & beyond" the original amount.

(2) Make the same list of "extra" expenses and give a discount on
what the project *should* have cost, but only if the client pays you
full price for the extra costs and pays you RIGHT NOW. Explain that
you can't afford to absorb expenses that were caused by factors beyond
your control (and that it does no good for the client to offer you future
work because you'll be out of business soon if you do business like that).

(3) Accept that this is the way these people do business and that you
might never want to work for them again anyway (especially if
someone is trying to make you the scapegoat for a project that went
way over budget), bill them for the entire amount, sue if you have to,
and don't look back.

Of course, it's easy for me to make these suggestions, since I'm not
a freelancer... :-)

Tracy Boyington
Technical Communication Specialist
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma

November 11, 1995: OSU 12, OU 0

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